What was your first eyeshadow palette?

This question was asked years ago, and my answer then was a MAC holiday palette, but I had no idea which one… and I still have no idea. My guess would be circa MAC Holiday 2005.

— Christine


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Seraphine Avatar

I remember having drugstore quad palettes going all the way back to the 1970s, but I couldn’t begin to remember what they were. Somewhere in my past I remember a high end quad (I think it was Lancôme), but I’m not sure. It was a very long time ago!

The first modern palette I bought was UD Naked Basics 2. I actually still have it, though I haven’t used it in years.

Jane Avatar

Hmmm, I think it was an airplane travel kit by Guerlain (all in browns) and then Too Faced’s Natural Matte (also brown and peach) small palette (neither being just eyeshadow palettes).

Zee Avatar

It was a too faced 9 pan smoky palette! It was in the cardboard packaging I think. I played with it maybe three times but I wasn’t good at makeup back then and made raccoon eyes out of those dark shadows. I tossed it after those failures.?

Mariella Avatar

I had a Mary Quant one way back in the 70’s (warm tones) and a purple one (a trio, I think) from Merle Norman also way back in the 70’s but of recent times, since I’ve “grown up”, it’s probably a tie between UD Naked and either Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland or their original Natural Eye palette.

Christine, an unrelated question. I used to get email notifications if someone else replied to my comments but about 2 weeks or maybe a month ago (or maybe more) they all stopped and I didn’t actually change anything that I can recall. Short of clicking the “email notification” box every time I comment, is there a way to make this “automatic” again? I feel like maybe I’ve been ignoring others here because I don’t realize they’ve replied to my comments.

Mariella Avatar

Thanks for that explanation, Christine. I thought that in my Luddite techno-confusion, I had done something or clicked something or unclicked something. At least I know it’s not me but the GDPR (not sure what that is but I will send them a GRRRR!)

SaffyTaffy Avatar

SaffyTaffy did you like the MAC holiday palette?
My first one may well have been Kat Von D’s Pastel Goth! That’s hard to believe, because I’ve been seriously into makeup for 15 years, but I guess I’m a late adapter to palettes.

Sarah Avatar

I’m probably wrong but I think it was the Too Faced Natural Eyes palette, the one that came in the cardboard packaging. You know, when Too Faced was good.

Ginny Avatar

Mine was a Jane Cosmetics quad. It looked similar to the Charlotte Tilbury Rock Chick Palette. It was really great and I don’t see this brand in my drugstores anymore.

Deborah S. Avatar

Like Christine, I remember the brand and the year but cannot remember the name of the palette, although there is a chance it was a number and not a name. I purchased my first 4 pan e/s palette in 1976 at the Robinson’s store in Mission Viejo, California. It was Chanel. I had graduated from nursing school in 1975 and took the summer off to recuperate from being sick the last 3 months of nursing school. Once I was back on my feet I got my first job and finally had some disposable cash that wasn’t earmarked for housing, car and food. I went to the mall on my day off and celebrated by having a second hole pierced in my ears and buying some makeup. I got the Chanel quad and an Estee Lauder foundation. I also picked up an Estee Lauder lipstick. The shade was “Paris Brick” and I still miss that color. It was a frosted pinky/red shade. I remember that I purchased the Estee Lauder for the free gift set that came with it and I pretty much only purchased Estee Lauder and Chanel for the next 10 years. I always gave the free gift to my mother. I remember the eye shadow palette as being very neutral as I didn’t introduce much color into my eye makeup until 1978.

Erica Avatar

I guess it depends on what you consider a palette? A duo? A quad? 5 pan or greater? I guess maybe MAC Hello Kitty 5 pan. First larger palette and more traditional palette was ABH Modern Renaissance. I never felt I needed a palette before. Just relied on singles mostly but ABH was my gateway drug lol

Agona Avatar

OMG, my first palette and love was a Lancôme palette back when it was cool to have eyeshadows, blush, and lipstick in a palette. It had 3 eyeshadows/lippies and one blush. I loooove it. I had a really mean college BF that would make snarky comments about me wearing it so I tossed it eventually. I loved it though.

AB Avatar

My first grown up one (i.e., not counting Cover Girl ones in the ’70s) was Clarins Instant Sun Light quad. This reminds me I should pull it out of back of the drawer, as I have liked it.

Leigh Avatar

Urban Decay Ammo. Bought it when Ulta first opened up in Fairmount in CNY. I think it was around 2005. I used it way longer than I should have…

Debbie Avatar

My first eyeshadow palette was a huge Revlon palette way back in the late 70’s. I also used to get every single Borghese holiday palette that was released. One that I do remember was similar to the UD Vice Palettes and had many bright colors. At the time I thought it was magnificent. I did see a picture of it when Googling and it still looks magnificent.

kjh Avatar

Borghese boxes/palettes were grand BITD. Had those and the UII biggies, as well as a big Dior palette I panned to death, but think my first purchased palette was Yardley Gimmericks, early 70’s, iirc. Glimmericks really captured the spirit of the times. I still have the tin, though the product is long gone. A pristine palette of Glimmricks brings many pretty pennies from collectors these days

Nancy T Avatar

If we’re not including quads or quits, then my very first large palette (10 shades or more) was Lorac Unzipped which my daughter sold me on when she worked for Sephora. I had gone in to her store to buy UD Naked 3…she showed me how the one by Lorac suited my skintone far better! I’ve owned that palette ever since, and even though I have shown it much love, I’ve hardly made a dent in most of the pans, ?!

Janice Avatar

I think it was the Lorac Pro one, the 1st one, which I love, (due to your review). Besides that it was a bunch of quints when Chanel hit the stores many moons ago. I haven’t bought anything Chanel in a very long time though. There’s just so many palettes out there now that are really good.

Stephanie Avatar

It was a tarte palette, I don’t think it had a name. It folded like a wallet and had eyeshadows and lip pots in it. This was early 2000s I think. It had purple, green, and gold sparkly shadows. I loved it!

Leah Avatar

My first palette (that I ended up hating and replacing) was a very grey cool-toned palette by Dr. Hauschka. My first real palette that I actually kept and used and loved was Stila In the Light.

Neelam Avatar

Hmm I remember my mum buying me a Boots No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow Trio in “Beside the Sea”. Must be at least 15 years old and it’s still at my parent’s house. Not the greatest of eyeshadows but fine for a beginner.
The first palette I bought myself was a Sleek MakeUp i- Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Storm. It was surprisingly good and I was able to use it for everything from neutral work looks to glam night out looks. I left it at my parent’s house when I moved out with some of my older drugstore makeup so I don’t have to take anything with me when visiting.

Lesley Avatar

Mid 60’s. An Estée Lauder holiday palette with dozens of shades that I could not afford and had no idea how to use. Duos were more my speed and I didn’t graduate to quads until the 90’s. Even now I don’t have very many large palettes.

Rachel R. Avatar

Huh, my answer didn’t seem to post yesterday.

When I was 14, my best friend and I bought went out and bought the same 12-pan drug store palette, probably CoverGirl, but it might have been Maybelline. It was full of the typical 80s frosty colors: purple, pink, blues, white, etc. The color payoff of most of it was crap. If only we’d had primers back then! lol

My first high-end was a brown/neutral Stila quad that I won in a contest when they first launched. I won a train case full of makeup from them. I still have the original magnetic palette.

Vicky Avatar

It might have been the Maybelline Blooming Pastels palette, I had that one in the late 80’s. It was all frosty pastels and it was in a white tin with pink flowers on it. I have had a love for palettes since I was young. My first was a Bonnie Bell full face palette in about 1982 or 83 that had frosty eye shadows, blush, lip colors and a small eyeliner.

My first modern palette were the Urban Spectrum and UD Gwen Stefani palettes, I got them both on sale at the same time.

Julie Avatar

Wow! My first palette was a three pan, a L’oreal Bronze. I received a large 32 pan with ALL THE COLORS for Christmas 1986. It was one of those cheap drugstore Christmas edition makeup brands, pressed loosely, dome shaped, but not baked. The pigment was great, but I was scared of color at that time. My first ‘grown up’ palette was 3 in 2013 from Urban Decay, Naked 1 and 2, and Vice 2.

Bonnie Avatar

My first? I’m sure it was some cheap drugstore mega palette that I was in love with at about age 11 or 12. The first I remember, and I had them all, were these 4-pan Maybelline palettes packaged in little artist’s palettes. I think there were 4 combos, but my fave was this metallic combo that had a gold, a silver, and bronze, and I think like a pewter.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!